Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative

Nationally launched in March 2007

Riverfly Partnership tutors deliver one-day workshops to fishing clubs and other organisations committed to establishing a group to monitor the biological water quality of their local waters.


Anglers are natural guardians of the river environment,  are in an ideal position to monitor the health of the watercourses they fish, by using the riverflies they aim to imitate with their artificial flies. Many angling and other interested groups expressed an interest to be able to carry out health checks on their waters. The Riverfly Partnership spearheads an initiative to allow interested groups to take action that will help conserve the river environment. This initiative provides a simple monitoring technique which groups can use to detect any severe perturbations in river water quality and puts them in direct communication with the local Ecological Contact of the Environment Agency (EA) / Scottish Environment Protection Agency - participating areas (SEPA) / National Resources Wales (NRW) / Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA).

The monitoring scheme, used alongside routine monitoring by the EA / SEPA / NRW / NIEA, ensures that water quality is checked more widely and action taken at the earliest opportunity should any severe perturbations be detected. Further the monitoring initiative acts as a deterrant to incidental polluters. Successful schemes are underway within catchments in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Organisations interested in joining the initiative must have an individual prepared to act as a local coordinator (to act as a contact point between the EA / SEPA / NRW / NIEA and the montioring group) and have members attend an official one-day Riverfly Partnership workshop, run by an accredited Riverfly Partnership Tutor. The workshop includes presentations and practical demonstrations.

See press releases for examples of successful Environment Agency prosecutions which are a result of the Monitoring Groups alerting the EA to such incidences.